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Silicon revolt as big US tech firms say no to Trump's visa crackdown

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By Robert Hackwill
Silicon revolt as big US tech firms say no to Trump's visa crackdown

It has only taken 48 hours for some of America’s biggest companies to revolt against President Donald Trump’s tightening of H1B visas, used to bring high-skilled workers to the US.

Trump’s executive order sparked outrage at Google, Facebook and Tesla among others, as a silicon revolt in the US high-tech sector warned of job and revenue losses.

“I’m very nervous about the things happening. And I don’t know what’s going to happen in the future. Because everyone when you left from your company, your country, you have a plan in your mind. And we never thought of this thing going to happen,” said overseas Computer Science Masters student Mayank Kasturia.

The loss of the lucrative market for overseas students is also threatening higher education, and it might mean breaking a virtuous circle for America, too.

“For many years, we’ve relied on this pool of well educated individuals from other countries to fill the vacant positions in engineering and sciences. If that is not going to be available to us, we will have to look for drastic alternatives,” says the Dean at California State University’s College of Engineering, Forouzan Golshani.

Where it all began. Hewlett and Packard’s house where in 1939 their infant industry took wing. Nearly a century of activity later it has transformed the US economy and the world.

Fewer students coming to America means fewer will be tempted to stay, although Trump argues the current system is an unfair lottery, with entry not based on skills or pay grades.